Glenn Beck turned the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s "I Have a Dream Speech" into a Bible-thumping rally Saturday, featuring pro-Israel Sarah Palin, a front-runner for the Republic Party's race for nominee for president in the 2012 election.
While a far smaller crowd attended a nearby rally in memory of King and his speech, Beck employed King’s style and copied U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign theme of change. Invoking the name of G-d, he warned that United States is “on the verge of becoming chaotic" because of its “Godless path.”
Beck, playing on the “change" theme of Obama, appealed to the crowd that “one man can change the world. That man or woman is you. You make the difference." He did not mention the president’s name,
The official crowd estimate, based on aerial photos, was placed at 87,000 people, very close to Beck’s prediction that 100,000 would attend. The rally turned out be more like a religious revival, stretching from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial.
Beck, a popular and controversial radio personality, took a sarcastic swipe at misleading media sources, opening his two-minute speech by quipping, "I have just gotten word from the media that there [are] over 1,000 people here today."
The rally was billed as a get-together for “restoring honor” to the United States. Beck, a Mormon, repeated invoked the name of the Creator, saying that “we must go to God boot camp."
The huge gathering clearly has Democrats worried, the Associated Press reported. Although the Beck rally officially was non-political, the success was another storm warning, both for Democrats and liberal Republicans. “Neither Democrats nor Republicans can afford to ignore the anti-establishment fervor displayed” at the rally, AP reported. “It also illustrated voters' exasperation—and provided additional evidence that Democrats in power—as well as some incumbent Republicans — may pay the price when voters go to the polls.”
Beck's speaking invitation to the GOP’s 2008 vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin gives her yet another public platform as she increases her exposure across the country. She turned the tables on the nearby “I have a dream rally,” telling her listeners, that they have "the same steel spine and the moral courage of Washington and Lincoln and Martin Luther King."
The day before, Palin spoke for 40 minutes in nearby Pennsylvania, hammering home her favorite themes of tax cuts, strong support for Israel and opposition to abortion.
In an appearance that raised questions similar to those in Israel, where leftists often claim a monopoly on how to remember assassinated Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin, King’s nice, Alveda King, attended the rally instead of joining the “I have a dream” gathering in the name of her uncle. She has called homosexuality "genocide” and is fiercely pro-life, a view shared by Palin and most evangelical Christians and conservative Republicans.
“I’m speaking at the Glenn Beck rally because Glenn and I have had many conversations about faith, hope and love,” Alveda King told the Daily Caller. “Glenn asked me about the philosophy and the strength to love that my uncle Martin had. I’ve been sharing that with Glenn and I’m hearing and seeing Glenn embrace those principles.”